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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Fuel for Iranian Plant

Senior Iranian and Russian nuclear officials said Tuesday that Moscow had agreed to ship fuel for a controversial nuclear power plant it is building in Iran by March 2007, news agencies reported Tuesday.

The agreement signed Tuesday by Sergei Shmatko, head of state-run Atomstroiexport, which is building the Bushehr plant in Iran, and Mahmoud Hanatian, vice president of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, should allay Iran's complaints that Moscow is dragging its feet on supplying fuel for the plant.

It will also renew the concerns of the West, which accuses Tehran of seeking to enrich uranium in order to build nuclear weapons.

Itar-Tass reported that Shmatko met Hanatian to sign an additional protocol setting out a timeframe for starting up the Bushehr plant.

"The document provides for supplying Russian fuel for the atomic energy plant in March, physical startup in September 2007 and electric generation by November 2007," Hanatian was quoted as saying.

Shmatko said about 80 tons of fuel would be supplied, Interfax and Itar-Tass reported.

Meanwhile, the chief of the Security Council insisted again on seeking a diplomatic solution to mounting international concerns over Iran's nuclear program at a meeting with Iranian Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who heads the country's nuclear organization.

"We are firmly convinced of the need to resolve the question of the Iranian nuclear program through the negotiation process," Igor Ivanov said.